Can You Find Things to Do, When You Know Nothing About Your Current Location?

Real Estate Agent with Florida Property Experts

THE Daytona Beach Real Estate & Community Event Blog. By Lisa C. Hill, "THE SMART CHOICE!"

waterfallHave you ever thought about how you would find inexpensive things to do in a particular city or area? I'm not talking about your home town, or even a vacation destination. I'm talking about moving to a new location and knowing very little about the area. Most of you will probably have your mental wheels turning. First of all, set aside the thought of how that could possibly happen. We'll get to that later. Once you get past that, you're probably thinking you can just go find a visitor's guide, or do an online search, or even ask some local people what they suggest...  But what would you have done when you were only 18 years old? Add to that, the fact that you're going to spend the next 4 years in this new location, and have a very limited budget. What would you do?

A few days ago, my daughter left for her first year of college. So far, she’s spent her first few days in orientation, finalizing her scholarship details, and handling a few other miscellaneous requirements that didn’t take much time. After only a few days, I quickly noticed a trend that concerned me. Every time I talked to my daughter on the phone, she was either going to Ponce Inlet Marine Science Centeror coming from a restaurant. Finally, I reminded her of how much she hated it when she gains weight, how hard she had worked out all summer, and how she had told me she was determined to NOT gain the “freshmen 15". But when I asked her why she didn’t do something other than go out to eat, she told me there was nothing to do but go out to eat, or hang around the apartments/dorms with her roommates and a few other students who were on campus this weekend. (Actually, her correct statement probably should have been that "she didn't know of anything affordable” for them to do, and she was too afraid to venture out on her own.) Apparently most of the kids had gone home for the weekend, which WAS an option for my daughter, since sea oatsher college is less than 100 miles from home, but she didn’t realize there would be so few of her peers on campus this weekend. She had made the decision to stay on campus this weekend so she could get to know some more students before classes started on Monday. But since most of the kids who lived close enough to do so, had gone home, the ones left didn’t know of anything to do. So they all kept going out to eat.

The only other things they had done in the last 3 days were one activity that a campus custodian thought up for them to do, which sounded like a cross between touch football and red rover. Then yesterday, the parents of one of herPonce Inlet lighthouse roommates brought them a TV, then the girls found a couple of boys on the campus to rearrange their living room furniture (several times) until the cable cord didn’t reach the TV. So last night, my husband and I took her grocery shopping, and installed a coaxial cable and connector, so they can watch their TV. (Great. Now they can eat, then sit around and watch TV.)

As I mentioned in one of my recent posts (about inexpensive things to do in our area), my daughter is attending a bible college. So I should also mention that these kids aren’t interested in going out drinking or partying, and they’re not of age anyway, plus, it would get them expelled. In addition to all this, the college enforces strict curfews, so their evening activities are going to be somewhat limited, no matter what they do.

So I started thinking about the activities I had done with my roommate and friends when I was her age, living in a new town. I can remember frequently spending the day at several of the many springs that are natural to Florida where we would camp, picnic or swim. Or we would take the 30 minute drive to a local beach for the day. I can also remember water-skiing or “tubing” behind boats on the St. John’s River (which is now mostly a “no-wake” zone). I remember spending the day at a house on a lake, which belonged to the friend-of-a-friend, once again Ponce Inlet nature traildoing the same types of outdoor, water activities... For indoor activities we went bowling, played games at the boardwalk, went to the skating rink, attended $1.00 movies (does anyone remember those?) or just spent time at the houses of local friends. I also started teaching aerobics when I was 18 years old, which paid more than a part-time job, kept me in shape, and included a free gym membership, so I made friends at the gym as well. These friends also taught me to eat properly, so I guess that's why of all my memories, none of them involved going out to eat all the time. But best of all, each activity was either free or very inexpensive.turtle crossing

So after I hung up the phone with my daughter, I went online to find some inexpensive things that she and her friends could do near their college. I know that I am constantly blogging about things to do in my area so I assumed I would find this same type of information for that area, from another dedicated blogger. My assumption was very wrong! I spent an hour trying many combinations of search phrases, frustratingly trying to find the information I needed. I won’t say that I came up with nothing, but it was pretty darn close! And none of the information I found was from a blogger.

Now you may remember the blog I posted about my history with an eating disorder when I was younger. Well, thank God, my daughter has not had this problem, but I wonder how many of those children will go down that dark, potentially deadly path, if within a matter of weeks, they find themselves suddenly 15-20 pounds heavier. Obviously, it’s because of my own history that I l have this concern, but did you know that 1 in 5 girls and women has an eating disorder of some type? And knowing what these diseases do to someone’s body, I feel we have an obligation to do what we can, to prevent it. I am 40 years old, and have been eating disorder-free for the past 21 of those years. But I’m Main Street Piergoing to take this opportunity to address this. I know I'm generalizing this, but why is it that almost all people feel that the only way they can socialize is around a table of food? I’ve spent the majority of my life making excuses for why I can’t go out to eat. I’ve offered suggestions of other things we can do, but to no avail. The people who don’t want to eat, just want to drink. *sigh* But I'll get back to my original topic.

Why are so few people blogging about things to do in their area? At this point, I’m now addressing my fellow Active Rain bloggers. I’d venture a guess that about half of my posts are about things to do in my area. And I think only two of them were about food/a restaurant. I'll avoid repeating my eating disorder statistics. But knowing that the city where my daughter is attending college has several Active Rain bloggers in it, why did I not find the information for which I was searching? My daughter, her friends, and students of other colleges in that area, desperately need this information.Port Orange library

I'll end this with a plea for help from my fellow bloggers. PLEASE! Write Localism posts about your area! You never know who might need it. And knowing that there are colleges in your area, you must know that some of those students will have parents who want to actually buy real estate as an investment while their children attend college. And now, more than ever, with real estate prices being so low, by the time those children finish their college career, the real estate market will be back on track and that investment will have appreciated.

I have intentionally not mentioned the city where my daughter is attending college, for her own safety. But trust me when I say, this city would be a very desirable location for the parents of those students, as a retirement or vacation destination. Think about that. There's even a group for these types of posts. I created it myself. It's the Things to Do/Places to Visit group. So even if you're just wanting to share your vacation with others, you have a group here that's dedicated to letting others know about all the interesting or exciting things you have to share.

Now for any real estate buyers or sellers who have stumbled upon this blog post, if you're interested in buying or selling real estate in the Daytona Beach area, make a Smart Choice and contact Lisa C. Hill for all your real estate needs. And keep checking back for ongoing information of things to do in Volusia County. Or visit my real estate web site, including my MLS real estate listings.

If you're looking for this information right now, here are a few posts that can help.

I have many more posts of this nature, but I've already inserted way more links than I've ever included in one post. But I think you get my point. People need to know what there is to do in areas where they are visiting, or where they are considering moving. This type of information can be the deciding factor on whether or not they visit or move to an area.

Lisa Hill real estate agent

Adams Cameron Realtors

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Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

Lots of great information packed in the post Ms. Lisa!  I'm gaining more knowledge here about WNC, but can tell you much more about Hawaii!!

Aug 24, 2008 09:54 PM #1
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

I try and post to Localism but the post gets lost in never never land. I do try and keep up with events on my web site for new people to my area.

Aug 24, 2008 10:50 PM #2
Audrey June-Forshey
RE/MAX Realty Services - Darnestown, MD
GRI, Gaithersburg, MD

Lisa, this is such great info.  I was thinking about high lighting things in my area that were an hour to an hour and a half to do for day trip fun.  This is another great perspective. 

Aug 25, 2008 01:25 AM #3
Judy Greenberg
Coldwell Banker Long Grove - Buffalo Grove, IL
Coldwell Banker - Buffalo Grove - Long Grove Homes

This is a great post about the area.  If it doesn't make it and stay in localism, nothing will....  Hope you have a great day Lisa.

Aug 25, 2008 01:34 AM #4
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

Hi Lisa!  I enjoyed reading this and really liked the pictures.  I have posted a couple of things to Localism and checked to see that they made it, and now I wonder if they are still there.....better go look.  I hope your daughter enjoys stepdaughter started just last week.

Have a great day!

Ann Allen Birmingham Realtor

Aug 25, 2008 02:03 AM #5
Don Rogers
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield - O'Fallon, MO
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes


This would have been a good post to reblog. 

Aug 30, 2008 11:17 AM #6
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Lisa Hill

Daytona Beach Real Estate
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